‘The working-class is back and we refuse to be poor anymore’.This was RMT’s Mick Lynch last year when the kimsey got up with the strikes. And as we all know, the kimsey hasn’t stopped yet.
It seemed as though Mick was never off the TV at the time.
Whether it was laughing at Kay Burley’s line of questioning on picket lines or showing Piers Morgan up for the tube that he is, Mick Lynch was and is, a breath of fresh air.
And when it came to dismantling government spin he done so with a quiet patience that was second to none.
Strikes in their various guises are still rumbling on and Mick is still fighting his corner.
However, he doesn’t appear to be getting as much screen time any more. Wonder why that is? Because he takes no prisoners.
‘Strike: Inside the Unions’ is the new programme showing this Thursday on BBC2 at 9pm, and essentially it’s a documentary about the wave of industrial action that engulfed the country at the end of 2022, with access to union leaders including Mick and Carrickmore’s Pat Cullen from the Royal College of Nursing. The opening edition charts the start of the strikes, with Lynch and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers at the forefront of the movement and with nurses withdrawing their labour for the first time in the Royal College of Nursing union’s-year history.
In a way, I’m glad that this programme is seeing the light of day. While my faith the BBC has waned in recent years (the corporation’s diabolical coverage of Brexit being the number one culprit), the tide appears to be turning on a government which has repeatedly proven itself to be a slither of liars.
Even the slither is itself now splitting into factions, eating itself from the inside out as blame for the Tories’ decimation in the recent council elections shifts and re-shifts.
It would be too much of a stretch to suggest that this tidal change began with Mick’s Canute-like battle against the Conservation breakers but by the same token, he was the first to call ministers out for what they were saying.
This was best summed up in the absorbing tête-à-tête last year on Newsnight between Mick and the simpering junior minister, Chris Philip, the latter looking as if he were praying for the arrival of his own personal sinkhole. The due clashed when Philip claimed that Lynch was refusing to negotiate with the Conservative government. Mick drew breath and said what so many had thought before but hadn’t the gumption to verbalise.
“You, are a liar,” he told Philip.
Amen to that.
Strike: Inside the Unions shows Thursday on BBC2 at 9pm.